Booneville High School wins third State Championship in school history
By: Cameron Mellor
April 21, 2014
The Ozark Hillbillies and Booneville Bearcats share quite a history. A history and a tradition that is surely not to be forgotten once Booneville moves down to Arkansas 3A Conference in 2014. The two have played annually for years, something that has continued since Booneville moved out of Ozark’s region four years ago.
While the two will continue to play annually for the foreseeable future, 2013’s game will remain in the memory of all Booneville players, fans and friends alike as BHS topped OHS, 49-14.
For the full recap, click here: Game 1 vs. Ozark
In the second game of the season, Booneville faced Gravette High School in a nonconference matchup. The Bearcats scored on the Lions early and often, en route to a 41-24 victory. all 41 points scored in the first half.
Bryson May would get the scoring onslaught started early, rushing his first touchdown of the game in from five yards out. Matt Berry and Josh Smith would join him on consecutive drives, knocking the lead up to 20-0 on the first play of the second quarter.
For the full recap, click here: Game 2 vs. Gravette
Avenging two losses from last season already after defeating Ozark in week one, the Bearcats successfully exacted revenge against another opponent, downing Star City 21-7 behind an impressive defensive and offensive first half.
For the full recap, click here: Game 3 vs. Star City
The Booneville Bearcats played their first conference game against the season on their home field, hosting the Waldron Bulldogs. Much like their previous two games, the Bearcats proved to be too much, handling Waldron 35-7 to open conference play.
Waldron would win the coin toss to start the game, but their luck would stop there. The Bulldogs elected to kickoff to Booneville, a decision that Matt Berry would make them pay for.
For the full recap, click here: Game 4 vs. Waldron
When the Booneville Bearcats took the field against Subiaco Academy in 2013, they might have thought they could score easily and come away victorious. Little did they know however, was just how they would score those points and the history they would make in their 48-20 victory.
Subiaco Academy (Subi), much like the Bearcats previous opponent – Waldron, would win the toss to start the game. And much like Waldron, the coin flip would be where there luck would end.
For the full recap, click here: Game 5 vs. Subiaco Academy
In what would turn out to be another lopsided affair, Booneville’s game against Dardanelle in week six did not lack in drama in the days leading up to the game. After learning that starting quarterback Cody Harrel would be suspended for the game due to a violation of rules, the Bearcats were forced to put tailback/linebacker James Ray under center for the entirety of the game.
Booneville would lean heavily upon their running backs, but Ray’s debut at quarterback would be a good one as the Bearcats left the game victorious 42-0 over the Sandlizards. All of Booneville’s points were scored in the first half, as they continued their fast start to the season.
For the full recap, click here: Game 6 vs. Dardanelle
After their most recent triumph, Booneville improved their streak to six straight victories over conference opponents. The Bearcats faced their lone conference blemish from 2012 in their week seven matchup against Mena High School.
In their 2012 matchup, Booneville had a similar streak (eight straight conference victories) snapped at the hands of Mena. 2013 was a different story for the Bearcats, who for a third time this season, exacted revenge on an opponent who had broken their hearts a year before.
Mena was never in the game against Booneville as they found themselves down 42-12 at halftime before eventually dropping the game, 49-28.
For the full recap, click here: Game 7 vs. Mena
Week eight would pit Booneville with an overmatched Dover team who had never beaten the Bearcats before. That streak would continue as Booneville laid it on early and often against the Pirates en route to a 35-0 victory.
The Bearcats were paced by running back Matt Berry who notched three scores in the game, all of which took place in Booneville’s 28-point second quarter.
For the full recap, click here: Game 8 vs. Dover
During the teams’ 2011 matchup, Perry ran for 303 yards en route to a 49-21 defeat of the Bearcats. 2013 would be much different however as Booneville would limit the highly regarded athlete to negative yards on the ground on the way to a 35-7 victory.
For the full recap, click here: Game 9 vs. Pottsville
The regular season finale for Booneville would pit two teams undefeated in conference play against one another as the Bearcats would be on the road for the second consecutive week, this time traveling to Maumelle High School.
While some of Booneville’s final scores may not be indicative of just how close or how out-of-hand the games might have been, that is no truer than in the game against the Hornets. The Bearcats would win the game by a comfortable 47-17 margin only after an impressive 19-point fourth quarter.
For the full recap, click here: Game 10 vs. Maumelle
The opening round of the playoffs would end as quickly as it began for Clinton High School as for the sixth time this season, Booneville would score 28 points in one quarter, this time in the first against the Yellowjackets en route to a 42-13 victory in the opening round of the 4A Arkansas Boys State Playoffs.
Booneville sent shockwaves through the playoffs in their dismantling of Clinton, outdoing their previous season-high in rushing yards, totaling 434 yards when the final whistle blew. Led by quarterback Cody Harrel, the Bearcats would score quickly against the Yellowjackets as three of their rushing touchdowns came from 58 yards or more.
For the full recap, click here: Game 11 vs. Clinton
In the second round of the 4A Arkansas Boys State Playoffs, Booneville High School entered the game winners of 11 consecutive contests. The Bearcats hosted the Hamburg Lions who had defeated Mena in their first round playoff game.
The Lions would share the same feeling as the previous 11 opponents facing Booneville as their season was cut short after a 35-14 defeat.
For the full recap, click here: Game 12 vs. Hamburg
The Booneville-Lincoln quarterfinal matchup in the 4A Arkansas Boys State Playoffs is arguably one that no one would have predicted. While many might have had no trouble putting the Bearcats in the quarterfinals, there is no doubting that not everyone would feel the same way about Lincoln High School.
While Booneville is a team with rich tradition, both in the regular and post seasons, the Lincoln Wolves were new to postseason victories. 2013 marked the first time in school history that Lincoln had won a playoff game when they defeated Nashville in the opening round.
They continued their new found playoff success the next week against Malvern, topping the Leopards 41-21. However, Lincoln’s success would come to an abrupt end when they faced off against 12-0 Booneville in the quarterfinals.
The Bearcats knocked off Lincoln 35-0 to advance to the semifinals.
For the full recap, click here: Game 13 vs. Lincoln
In a heavily anticipated game, Booneville would ultimately prove to be too much for the Cardinals, trouncing their opponents 43-14.
For the full recap, click here: Game 14 vs. Dollarway
A Game for the Ages.
Whatever adage you can come up with for an intense, hard fought state championship game against two powerhouse schools, it is sure to apply to the 4A Arkansas State Boys Playoffs Championship game between Booneville High School and Warren High School.
Booneville would emerge victorious over Warren, 14-12 in arguably the most intense and most exciting games of the season for Bearcat and Lumberjack players, fans and friends alike.
For the full recap, click here: Game 15 vs. Warren
All photos courtesy of Glenn Parrish Graphics done by Cameron Mellor
Bentonville High School wins fourth State Championship in school history
By: Cameron Mellor
April 4, 2014
All graphics created by Cameron Mellor with images courtesy of David Beach Photography
When the schedule was released for Bentonville’s 2013 campaign, there were several games that might have jumped out to students and fans alike. While the Tigers were scheduled to play three tough out-of-state opponents, arguably the most anticipated game would be their last: a conference matchup against rival Fayetteville High School who had bested the Tigers in the previous two season State Championship games.
Before we get to that game, we’ll start our season review with the aforementioned out of state games and continue with a brief recap of each contest en route to Bentonville's State Championship.
September 6, 2013 Bentonville: 24
Kansas City, Mo. Rockhurst: 21
The Tigers opened up their season 3 hours away in Kansas City against Rockhurst High School. In their first of three games against opponents outside of Arkansas, Bentonville (1-0) would start sluggish, possibly affected by travel, surrendering 13 points within the first nine minutes of play against the Blue Jays.
Led by Hekili Keliiliki, the Tigers would gather themselves in the second quarter, scoring 21 points, enough to get ahead and stay ahead against Rockhurst, defeating RHS 24-21.
For the full recap, click here: Game 1 vs. Rockhurst.
September 13, 2013 Broken Arrow: 24
Bentonville, Ark. Bentonville: 17
Bentonville’s second game of the season would be the team’s first of three straight home games and also their first of two games hosting schools from out of state. The opponent this time would be Oklahoma’s Broken Arrow High School.
Making the two hour trek from just outside of Tulsa, the Tigers from Broken Arrow would leave victorious, defeating their hosts 24-17.
For the full recap, click here: Game 2 vs. Broken Arrow.
September 20, 2013 Trinity (Euless): 21
Bentonville, Ark. Bentonville: 13
Looking to rebound from their first regular season defeat in over two years, the Tigers were subject to arguably their toughest test of the season – facing a team from one of Texas’ top divisions and oft-nationally ranked – Trinity High School.
For the full recap, click here: Game 3 vs. Trinity (Euless).
September 27, 2013 Har-Ber: 20
Bentonville, Ark. Bentonville: 45
Playing their first game against an opponent from the state of Arkansas, the Tigers hosted conference foe Har-Ber High School. Bentonville (2-2) utilized an impressive final 14 minutes to knock off the Wildcats, 45-20.
For the full recap, click here: Game 4 vs. Har-Ber.
October 4, 2013 Bentonville: 45
Siloam Springs, Ark. Siloam Springs: 3
Bentonville’s first conference road game was a bit of a different story than their previous four games of the season. The Tigers (3-2) traveled to Siloam Springs High School, squaring off against the Panthers. Bentonville easily defeated Siloam Springs 45-3.
Bentonville players got off the bus and started the game with a bang, scoring on their first two possessions before heading to halftime, up 17-0.
For the full recap, click here: Game 5 vs. Siloam Springs.
October 11, 2013 Rogers: 7
Bentonville, Ark. Bentonville: 35
Bentonville returned home for their next conference matchup, this time against Rogers High School. The Tigers (4-2) continued their winning ways against the Mounties, rattling off the first 35 points on the game, en route to a 35-7 victory.
The scoring was quick and rapid for the Tigers. It wasn’t 11 seconds into the game before Bentonville had recovered a fumble on defense and running back Dylan Smith had carried the ball into the end zone for six points.
For the full recap, click here: Game 6 vs. Rogers.
October 18, 2013 Bentonville: 13
Rogers, Ark. Heritage: 10
For the full recap, click here: Game 7 vs. Heritage.
October 25, 2013 Van Buren: 7
Bentonville, Ark. Bentonville: 38
The Pointers would prove to be no match for Bentonville as the hosting Tigers would cruise to a 38-7 victory.
For the full recap, click here: Game 8 vs. Van Buren.
November 1, 2013 Bentonville: 38
Springdale, Ark. Springdale: 0
Just like their previous game, the Tigers (7-2) would score quickly and often en route to a 38-0 victory. All 38 points were scored before the 4:57 mark of the second quarter.
For the full recap, click here: Game 9 vs. Springdale.
November 8, 2013 Bentonville: 35
Fayetteville, Ark. Fayetteville: 21
In a game that pitted the two previous State Champions, Bentonville (8-2) would emerge victorious over rival Fayetteville, 35-21. While the two teams meet annually as conference opponents, the Tigers and Bulldogs had previously squared off against one another in the 2011 and 2012 State Championship games – each that Fayetteville would emerge victorious, 29-28 in ’11 and 31-20 in ’12.
For the full recap, click here: Game 10 vs. Fayetteville.
November 22, 2013 Southside: 13
Bentonville, Ark. Bentonville: 45
The Tigers (9-2) would start their run to the State Championship in impressive fashion, trouncing the Rebels 45-13. In an inspiring 2013 playoff debut, running back Dylan Smith carried the ball 28 times for 285 yards and two touchdowns. His 285 yards were a season high.
For the full recap, click here: State Quarterfinal game vs. Southside.
November 29, 2013 Conway West: 14
Bentonville, Ark. Bentonville: 21
In one of their closest matchups in nearly every statistical category in 2013, the Bentonville Tigers utilized an impressive fourth quarter performance to outlast the Cats from Conway West and advance to the State Championship game.
Bentonville (10-2) bested Conway 21-14 to move on to the Arkansas 7A Championship game for the fourth consecutive season.
For the full recap, click here: State Semifinal game vs. Conway West.
December 13, 2013 Bentonville: 39
War Memorial Stadium, Little Rock, Ark. Cabot: 28
The Arkansas State Playoffs were front and center December 13 with one of the biggest games in recent memory slated to take place. No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the state rankings, Cabot and Bentonville were set to battle for the coveted title of Arkansas 7A State Champions.
The two teams would not disappoint, giving students, fans, media and all who watched a game to remember as Bentonville (11-2) would knock off previously undefeated Cabot, 39-28, behind a 26-point second half to be crowned State Champions.
For the full recap, click here: State Championship game vs. Cabot.